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Fact Check-New Hampshire officials say reporting error for U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan votes was due to typo

A typo - not election fraud - caused inaccurate vote totals to be reported in Coos County in New Hampshire for U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, who was reelected to represent the state. Posts on social media said Hassan had received 1,100 votes in a town with a population below that number, but the Secretary of State told Reuters the typo was corrected, and Hassan remains the winner of the race with 332,193 votes and 106 – not 1,106 – votes in that specific town.

Democrat Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Donald Bolduc in the New Hampshire Senate race (here). The New Hampshire Department of State details election results by county and reported that Hassan received a total of 332,193 votes against Bolduc’s 275,928 votes (select excel beside “United States Senator”) (here).

One Instagram user shared an image that reads: “Another Democrat Miracle! Maggie Hassan Wins 1,100 Votes from Town with Population Under 700” and said: “These days we elect dead people and more votes are casted than there are people! But, there is no voter fraud! Too many downplayed the steal in 2020 and now here we are!” (here).

The posts on social media show a screenshot of an article by the Gateway Pundit, viewable (here).

The town referenced in the article is Columbia, in Coos County, which has a population of 659 according to the 2020 U.S. Census (here).

According to the election results county breakdown, Hassan received 6,059 votes in Coos County with 106 votes from Columbia, while Bolduc received 6,491 votes with 193 from the town (same excel as above, tab that reads “coos gov”) (here).

The Secretary of State’s office originally reported Hassan’s vote totals for Columbia to be 1,106 instead of 106 votes. Marcia Parkhurst, the Columbia town clerk who signed the Return of Votes form that certifies the election result, confirmed that Hassan received 106 votes in Columbia and told Reuters that the error occurred while “transferring the results from one form to another,” explaining the 1,000-vote discrepancy.

“It was just an error that happened after a long day. As soon as I was notified, I contacted the Secretary of State’s Office and they had me send them an e-mail explaining what happened,” Parkhurst said. “The form that was submitted to the Secretary of State’s office (and other news agencies) clearly stated on it that there were a total of 309 votes cast in Columbia.”

An image of the Columbia Return of Votes can be found (imgur.com/a/rransBu), confirmed to Reuters as authentic by the New Hampshire Secretary of State, with what appears to be a stray mark misinterpreted an extra “1” in the box for Hassan’s vote totals.

The Secretary of State confirmed Hassan’s vote totals for Coos County in a statement to Reuters and said that the misreported number of 1,106 votes for Columbia was “based on information submitted on the official ‘Return of Votes’ form.”

Acknowledging that the “reported number far exceeded the number of ballots actually cast in the town,” the Secretary of State said that “the original figure entered was a simple typo” and clarified that the “typo” referred to “a stray pen mark.”

Representatives for the Gateway Pundit did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

VERDICT

Misleading. While the New Hampshire Secretary of State originally reported that Maggie Hassan received 1,106 votes in Columbia, Coos County, state and town officials told Reuters it was due to a typo and the number has since been corrected.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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